Ohio Launches Country’s First ABLE Program
The ABLE National Resource Center, managed by National Disability Institute (NDI), is excited to announce that on June 1st the State of Ohio launched its “STABLE Account” program. With the launch of this program, Ohio becomes the first state in the country to offer ABLE accounts to qualified individuals with disabilities. Moreover, the “STABLE Account” program is a national program, offering enrollment to individuals with disabilities both in Ohio and across the country.
Ohio’s program allows qualified individuals with disabilities to save up to $14,000 a year in their STABLE account without jeopardizing their eligibility for federally-funded means tested benefits, such as Social Security and Medicaid. The funds in the account can be used for disability-related expenses that assist the beneficiary in increasing and/or maintaining his or her health, independence or quality of life.
Millions of individuals with disabilities and their families are often relegated to a life of poverty as a result of not being allowed to build even the most modest levels of resources. Individuals receiving supports through Social Security, Medicaid and other publically-funded programs, are often disqualified from those supports if they have more than $2,000 worth of resource or assets. Now, for the first time, individuals with disabilities and their families will be able to take a step to better secure their financial futures and to help offset the often significant financial challenges that can accompany living with a disability.
The Ohio program focuses on efforts to ensure minimal costs associated with maintaining a STABLE Account. Ohio residents will pay $2.50 per month ($30 annually) to maintain their accounts. Residents of other states will pay $5.00 per month ($60 annually) to maintain their accounts. Ohio residents will also have a small asset-based fee of between 0.19 percent and 0.34 percent, depending on their chosen Investment Options. Similarly, non-Ohio residents will have an asset-based fee of between 0.45 percent and 0.60 percent, depending on their chosen Investment Options.
While Ohio is currently the only program available in the U.S., soon individuals with disabilities and their families will have other options to choose from as well. Several states, including Nebraska, Florida, Utah and Tennessee should be launching their ABLE account programs in the very near future. In fact, both Nebraska (a national plan) and Florida (an in-state only plan) are expected to launch prior to July 1st.
For more information on the Ohio “STABLE Account” plan and how to enroll please visit http://www.stableaccount.com/.
For more information related to ABLE programs and accounts in general, and for the latest news regarding other state programs, please visit the ABLE National Resource Center at www.ablenrc.org.